The white fluffy clouds scurried past as if they were late for a rendezvous. As I looked out of the window, the plane flew straight into the clouds and my vision of the ground below was blocked by mist, we emerged out of the clouds and what I saw below sent my senses into raptures.
A green carpet glistening with silvery strains stretched out below and a thin line of white seemed to dissect the carpet, it was actually a water body that looked like a white line from high up in the air. The city of Kochi in all its lush splendor stretched out below me. Kochi in the southern state of Kerala, India, had called me again to experience the enchanting magic of a state that is fittingly known as, “God’s own country”. It was some months back that we had spent a lovely time in Kochi, experiencing some Zen moments on the backwaters of Kerala and exploring the quaint streets of Fort Kochi, and here I was back again to get lost in the magic of this lovely place.
A Road Trip into the Idukki Hills of Kerala with Tata Nexon
This trip was special. After having a first-hand experiential drive of Tata Tigor in Delhi, I would be embarking on a short road trip across the scenic and hilly regions of Kerala to have a first hand behind the wheel experience of Tata Nexon. I looked forward to driving the brand new Tata Nexon as part of the Tata Nexon Drive for Bloggers, a festival of exploration called #ExploreWithNexon.
First hand behind the wheel experience of Tata Nexon
The Flag off
The sun had not yet risen when we all woke up with excitement coursing through us and after a quick breakfast, we were out in the courtyard of the Kochi Marriott Hotel ready to set off on a thrilling road trip – #ExploreWithNexon.
The place was abuzz with activity around the gleaming beauties that graced the courtyard in hues of brilliant blue and red. As I released the clutch and the Tata Nexon moved smoothly on its way, I felt a surge of excitement as we were off!
We zipped across the city of Kochi amidst light traffic in a city that was still waking up on a weekend. Though unfamiliar with the route, never having driven in the city, it was easy to keep to the route which had been pre-programmed and the Android Auto system ensured that the GPS system issued clear directions as we moved forward. A 6.5-inch touch screen that was located in the center on the dashboard, afforded easy access and could be operated through steering buttons or buttons below the AC vents. As the system also operated on voice commands it was really easy and convenient.
Navigating was indeed a breeze and as we quickly made our way away from the city of Kochi towards the hills around the picturesque Idukki district which is graced with lovely hills and lush forests and offers some breathtaking views as you climb the hills. We left the city of Kochi behind and also passed the town of Muvattapusha.
Driving the Tata Nexon which is a comfortable and compact SUV was a breeze. As we left the city and entered hilly terrain, I changed the driving mode from, “City” to “Sports”.
The car can be driven in 3 modes, namely, City, Sports, and Economy. In the sports mode, the engine uses all its power which is really convenient when driving around hilly terrain.
As we would be negotiating some steep curves and 12 hair pin bends on the route, this mode was perfect for a smooth and power packed drive.
Quickly the terrain changed and gasps of excitement and awe filled the car, the views on both sides were exhilarating. We passed rubber plantations, streams gushing merrily by the side of the road, small cascading waterfalls as we wound our way towards our destination.
The drive was pure magic and the beauty of nature around us made us wish that the journey would never end.
We spotted a green pasture with some cows grazing against the backdrop of a temple built in typical Kerala style and we had to stop for a photo opp.
It looked like it would rain, and I looked at the umbrella that sat cozily in its holder on the door of the car, in fact, the holder was built in such a way that it could drain off the water from the umbrella.
“We are well prepared to experience the romance of the rains”, I thought as I reversed the Tata Nexon to enter the main road from the small side road that we had entered. I loved the fact that the Tata Nexon which has 6 gears, has a “lift and shift” operation for reversing your car. I just had to lift the gear slightly upwards and gently swing it back to move backward, immediately the screen on the dashboard started showing the road at the rear of the car, which was so convenient.
We set off once again towards our destination which was a beautiful resort known as Greenberg Resort, high up in the hills.
As we ascended the views became more and more spectacular and we had to stop once again to take in some mesmerizing views as well as breathe the fresh mountain air. It was really cool outside. We feasted our eyes on the beautiful panorama that nature seemed to have painted just for us. We spotted a man selling some exotic looking fruits at a bend in the road, the fruits looked similar to Strawberry but had long fibers running around them.
The vendor showed how to peel off the skin to reveal a small silvery white ball which should be eaten and the seeds to be thrown off. The fruit looked and tasted like Lychee. Later research on the net revealed that this fruit is called Rambutan and the Rambutan tree is a native of South-East Asia. The thrill of experiences like these, eating strange and exotic fruits, stopping wherever you liked and driving on uncharted roads are some of the pleasures of a road trip.
As my palate experienced the pleasure of a new taste, I looked at the Tata Nexon parked by the side of the road against the backdrop of a lake with some hills adorned with a waterfall in the distance and thanked it for giving us such an awesome drive and experience.
We soon reached our destination, which was shrouded in mist and the atmosphere was ethereal. The weather seemed to alternate between mist and the sun and the valley below as well as the hills looked spectacular in the changing light patterns.
Why we Found Tata Nexon to be a great Ally on our Exploration
The Tata Nexon is indeed an ideal car for road trips, those trips that you take after deciding on the spur of the moment, the kind of trips that gives you complete freedom in which you exult. The car is great for solo travelers out to discover new places and go where not many go. It is also great for couples and families. A family of five can travel in comfort and style in the Tata Nexon. Here are some features of the Tata Nexon which are of great value for travelers like us.
A 350-litre boot space which is expandable to 690 liters by folding the rear seat, ample space to store all your road trip paraphernalia.
The power of the Tata Nexon ensures that you negotiate tough terrains with ease. The Tata Nexon is available in 1.2-litre turbo charged 3 cylinder petrol engine and 1.5 liters, 4 cylinder Diesel engine. We drove both the versions and as is commonly found that the Diesel one has more power while the Petrol version gives a smoother drive.
The ground clearance is very good at 209 mm which makes it ideal for negotiating those big humps in some of the cities.
The interiors in subdued grey are really elegant and spell class, the space inside the car also makes for more leg room and a drive in comfort, even for long stretches.
A good infotainment system that will ensure you never have a dull moment inside the car, and Android Auto that will ensure that you are on track.
Automatic climate control ensures your comfort in all types of weather while plenty of storage and this includes separate AC vents for the rear with separate blow controllers.
There is a lot of spaces for storage inside the car including cup holders, bottle holders, umbrella holder, etc. There is a chilled glove box with additional cup holders.
Two front airbags ensure that the drive is safe and there is adequate protection against any eventualities.
A wearable key which ensures that you can literally park your car on the side of the road and go for a jog without the inconvenience of bulky keys jangling in your pockets.
The styling of the Tata Nexon is so elegant, sporty and gorgeous that it will make heads turn wherever you drive. On our trip, we had our share of envious looks from the people we passed.
Watch our video of first hand behind the wheel experience of Tata Nexon:
The Tata Nexon, a compact SUV is a nice vehicle for your In-city trips or long distance road trips across varied terrain. It is ideal for the young at heart who want to break free from the shackles of city life and zoom away into the great outdoors in style. It is a comfortable car with style blending seamlessly with utility for family travel and travel with kids.
The drive through the wonderful terrain of God’s own country in the Tata Nexon was an exhilarating experience and something that will be cherished for a long, long time. Check out Tata Nexon site here.
We were invited by Tata Motors to take a first look and drive the Tata Nexon but the opinions in the post are based on our actual drive experience and are our own.
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